Recipe: Chicken & Dumplings

So it’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe with you guys. Lately, I have been trying to develop both my comfort food abilities as well as my knowledge of what I deem to be “American Classics” (I blame the American spouse for that one) and so … I came across Chicken & Dumplings (Chicken & Biscuits in some places), which is sort of like a chicken pot pie, and sort of like matzo soup is that makes any sense at all?

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It’s a comfort food, I think, because it’s warm and smells like chicken soup and makes the kitchen (okay, the whole apartment, I don’t live in a palais) warm and yummy smelling. Also because it’s relatively easy to make and can be adapted to whoever’s taste buds you’re accommodating. Herbed dumplings? You betcha! Turkey & Biscuits? For sure! You get the idea.

 

Personally I am all about the biscuits, myself. So I pay extra attention to those.

 To start off – buy chicken thighs. I am a relatively recent convert to the thigh bandwgaon – having previously not much liked anything on a chicken but the breasts – but a few recipes have managed to zealously convert me. Get them skinless and boneless, then chop ’em up into bite sized pieces and toss them in a bowl of salt, pepper and a wee bit of flour. In your dutch oven,  btw, you pour in some veg oil and get it heated up. When it’s ready you fry off the chicken in the oil until all sides are brown, and then remove them from the pot. 

Meanwhile, chop up your carrots, your celery, your yellow onion and you knob of ginger and minced garlic. Chuck it all into the pan (you may need a bit more oil) and allow them to sweat it out a bit. When the onions get transluscent, you put the chicken back in and then overtop of it all, pour enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients. 

IMG_20141028_180209

Cover the pan with a lid, but leave a little bit of space so the steam can escape, and leave it boil for a bit, before reducing the heat. Once reduced, leave the lid on and walk away for 40 minutes. 

As you’re waiting, gather your flour, your cold butter, your cold milk, dash of salt and whatever herbs you like – I personally like a combo of parsley and oregano. Cut the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs, then add the milk and stir it mildly until just come together. Set it aside, and keep it cool. 

Meanwhile, your broth is now cooked through, so add a dash of cream and a bag or frozen peas, give it a stir and leave it again for 8 to 10 minutes or so. 

Finally, use a cookie scoop (or in my case, since I couldn’t find my cookie scoop as my Life Partner put away the dishes, a 1/4 cup measuring cup) to scoop up biscuit dough and drop it onto the broth. Don’t worry if it falls through into the broth – that just means it will soak up more juice. Cover up your pot, leaving that strip of open in order to allow steam to escape, and leave it all for 20-25 minutes or so. 

And that’s it – done. 

If you chop up on the veg and chicken beforehand and measure out everything else – it’s a cinch to make and the long cooking time leaves you with enough time to get cracking on that novel, open a bottle of wine or compete on Jeopardy by shouting at the tv – all things I generally do while making dinner… 

Enjoy this recipe – if you make it, tag me and let me know how it goes! 

Chicken & Dumplings IMG_20141028_180202

Serves 4, with leftovers 

For Broth
10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
¼ cup of vegetable oil
2 - 3 carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
knob of ginger, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package chicken stock
1 small bag frozen peas
½ cup cream

For Dumplings
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
generous pinch of salt
herb seasoning, to taste
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 c. cold milk

Method

  1. Pour the vegetable oil in your dutch oven and turn the heat up to Medium-High. 
  2. Toss the chicken bits in flour and seasoning and then fry it off in the vegetable oil. Brown both sides, then remove and leave to rest on a plate.
  3. Slide the chopped veggies, the ginger and the garlic into the pot and let sweat. Once the onions appear translucent, put the chicken back in the pan, and pour the chicken stock over the whole of it. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and put the lid on, but slightly ajar, to allow steam to escape. Leave for 40 minutes.
  4. Add cream and frozen peas, stir contents, then cover again with a lid to allow steam to escape. Leave for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, put all the dry ingredients of the dumpling mix into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the cold butter and with a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the milk and stir until just coming together.
  6. Using a scoop, drop balls of biscuit dough into the pan with the broth until the top of the pan is covered. Put the lid back on, with a space for steam to escape and leave for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!  

 

 

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